Why do dogs stretch and shake when they wake up?
I imagine that like myself, most people tend to start their day with a morning stretch. You roll out of bed, or in my case crawl, and lift your arms above your head, arch your back and push your tummy out, letting out either a yawn or some sort of indistinct murmur.
Well, it turns out that dogs, despite doing very much the same, are not following in our footsteps but the steps of their ancient predecessors.
The origins of the morning stretch and subsequent shake is traced back to a time when every day was a battle to survive. Paul Rosenborg, chief vet chiropractor at Pets in Motion substantiates this, saying “Dogs, as hunters and fighters, in an evolutionary sense never know what will happen when they get up to roam their territory…stretching helps prepare for any hunt for food or brawl for territory that comes along…evolution favours the prepared…don’t stretch and you risk successfully hunting and you starve…get injured or killed in a fight and you are less likely to provide for your offspring or pack mates”.
So, as it turns out, this desire to shake oneself down and ensure ultimate limberness and flexibility has a slightly more serious connotation for our four-legged friends than it does for us. However, just like us “they get their muscles ready for activity” like most mammals, continuously needing to replenish and charge their system – the only difference being that dogs are hard-wired to do this on an instinctual basis – not just because it feels good!
Dogs 1-0 Humans.